Okay, KH fandom, I’m here to talk about a thing.
A thing that’s bothered me for ten years, but that I mostly kept quiet about, but for some reason now feel the need to discuss:
People who say that Sora doesn’t care about Kairi in KHII, or that he cares about her less than Riku in that game, drive me insane.
I often wonder if we even played the same game.
The main argument is that Sora asks about Riku more, and I agree that that’s true.
But guys… it’s true because for the first half of the game, Sora knew that Kairi was safe on the islands and it was only Riku he needed to find. So of course he wasn’t looking for her in II exactly like how he was in the first game.
And even his looking for Riku is tied to Kairi. “Well, I’m gonna go look for Riku. Then he and I can go back to the islands together. Kairi’s there waiting for us.”
And there are so times that Sora thinks about Kairi even during the first half of the game, like when he’s blushing and thinking about hugging her when he sees Will and Elizabeth together.
Also, does no one remember his reaction to Kairi apparently being in Twilight Town?
“Oh! Sora! Do you know a girl named Kairi?”
“K… Kairi!? I sure do!”
This moment right here is the turning point. Once Sora learns that Kairi’s in danger, he doesn’t shut up about her or stop worrying/looking.
And sometimes he even puts her name before Riku’s when asking about her, or sometimes will talk about here without even mentioning Riku at all.
Here are just a few examples of that:
Sora trying to comfort Hayner, Pence, and Olette’s guilt about the whole thing: “Hey, it’s not your fault. C’mon, cheer up! Like I can even say that… I gotta help Kairi!”
He even blames himself for her abduction:
Sora - “The King, Riku–and now I’ve lost Kairi again, too.”
Donald - “Don’t be sad!”
Goofy - “Donald’s right, you know! Why, you’re the key that connects everything!”
Sora - “So it’s all MY fault.”
He also does the Japanese dogezu position towards Saïx as he literally begs him to let her see her–and puts himself on a silver platter that way–which is such a big deal, that I can’t even-
But back to what I was saying above, about him talking about Kairi a lot after what Axel did to here, here are just some of those examples:
After Maleficent pushes the crew into the Realm of Darkness… Sora - “Kairi! Riku!” (And yes, he actually puts her name first there.) As Sora opens the gate in that place, knowing that he’ll be forced to leave it soon - “Not yet! I gotta look for Kairi!”
Upon entering The Castle That Never Was for the first time - “Kairi… We’re almost there.” And a bit after that: “Kairi! Where are you?”
Also, backtracking a little bit, but there are moments where Sora thinks about Kairi during this part of his journey that don’t even have to deal with her current situation–like when he imagines himself dancing with her in Halloween Town.
But back to The World That Never Was stuff:
Sora barges in on Saïx and demands, “Where’s Kairi?”
Kairi then appears on that one balcony and shouts out to him, and it’s the cutest thing ever. Sora’s completely distracted and forgets what he should be doing, and just smiles widely at her and excitably says her name: “Kairi!”… before being dog piled by Heartless, for not having kept his head in the game.
After that, Sora sees Kairi fighting alongside “Ansem” and is clearly concerned by it as he watches them. “What’s going on!?”
Sora fights Xigbar, who goes out purposefully confusing Sora, and Donald reminds Sora about Kai. Donald - “Sora! It’s Kairi!” Sora - “Kairi, we’re on our way!”
Next up is their reunion. Kairi tells him, “You and Riku never came home, so I came looking for you.”
And Sora is so completely undone by this–because he feels guilty that he promised he’d return to her with Riku, and hasn’t even after a year; guilty, that she had to come looking for him; guilty, that she got freakin’ kidnapped because of him–that he can’t even look at her. He just turns away and mutters a broken, “I’m sorry.”
But Kairi doesn’t care. And she never blamed him even once, so she just shoots across the room and embraces him–eager to see him–and Sora hesitantly hugs her back, because he honestly doesn’t think he deserves her easy forgiveness. And he thinks she deserves more and better than this crummy reunion, in an enemy’s lair: an enemy’s lair that she’d been held hostage at.
Oh, and Sora freakin’ thanks “Ansem”–who he hates, and makes a point of saying that thinking about all the things he did makes him “really mad”–for saving Kairi. “I’ve got to be grateful for that. Thanks.”
We then get the Sora, Riku, and Kairi reunion. And in a lot of ways, this is a moment between all three of them. Because it takes Kairi to show Sora that it’s even Riku.
And after Sora’s collected himself from all the emotions he’s just been forced to feel, after having the weight of the world on his shoulders, it’s all three of them talking to each other:
Kairi - “Does that mean… you can’t change back?”
Riku - “This battle isn’t over. And until it is, I still need the power of darkness.”
Sora - “Then… let’s finish it. You’re still Riku, no matter what!” (Everyone, including Kairi, then nods at this.) “So how ‘bout it? Think we can handle one last rumble together? The King’s waiting!”
Donald - “Yeah! Let’s get going!”
Anyway, after that scene Sora seems to have finally gotten over his regret about the whole Kairi thing, and we get some really cute moments between them, such as:
(After the Luxord fight.) Kairi - “You okay?”
Sora - “Yeah! No worries. Let’s keep moving.”
Sora catching Kairi when Ansem’s Kingdom Hearts encoder is blowing up…
…Kairi aiding Sora as he’s trying to convince Riku “you got friends,,, like us!”
Kairi’s voice being what pulls Sora out of the illusion Xemnas puts him in of Memory’s Skyscraper, etc.
Sora promises Kairi that they’ll “be together every day” Sora - “Uhh… yeah!” (And the only reason he reacts that way is because he’s still freaking out about the whole Roxas thing, but he honestly means this and is joyful about the idea.)
Next, Kairi, Sora, and Riku are all ready to go home together… which makes the fact that they get separated here even sadder.
Kairi - “Hey, let’s go home!”
Sora - “Riku… C’mon.”
Riku - “Yeah.”
(The portal closes before Sora and Riku can get through it.) Kairi - “Sora! Riku!”
(The two of them then gasp at this, and if it wasn’t fish face at the time I imagine both Sora and Riku would be looking really sad.)
Anywho, Sora and Riku defeat Xemnas for the final time (LOL to that, says DDD) and are stranded at the Dark Margin. Since it doesn’t look like they have any way out of there, they begin thinking that maybe their best option would be to just “fade into darkness”, and that maybe it wouldn’t even be so bad. But it’s only knowing that Kairi’s safe that Sora even considers this.
Sora - “Yeah. The other side… The realm of light is safe now. Kairi, the King, and the others are there.”
Kairi’s letter to Sora washes up on the shore–and he loves reading it so much, that the sweetest and most meaningful smile appears on his face; and it leads him to being able to open the Door to Light, and getting Riku and himself the heck out of there.
Next, Sora and Riku are finally back at Destiny Islands. And the moment that he sees Kairi and hears her calling his name, Sora is running to her as fast as his feet can carry him. Tripping, and not even caring. (And tbh, I honestly think he probably would’ve kissed her here, if Donald and Goofy hadn’t ended up tackling him.)
But even after he’s fallen, this is just a really adorable moment–as the two of them smile at each other, and Kairi gives Sora her hand and he finally gives her her lucky charm back (whilst she corrects him that he’s not “back”, he’s “home”).
In the credits, we then see Sora stumble upon Kairi having drawn herself giving him a paopu fruit on the cave drawing. And he just puts his hand over it, smiles like no other, and looks up to the sky.
This game ends with Kairi giving Sora the letter from the King, and him looking it over in a confused manner. And as Blank Points from BbS continues this instance (after Sora, Riku, and Kairi) have had time to think it all over,) we see Sora being heartbroken and guilty again that he’ll have to leave Kairi again (he once again can’t even look at her, after having promised her they’d spend every day together and all).
But Kairi is a selfless human being, who sees Sora off with her best grin and lets him go–thus easing Sora’s burden about the whole thing.
But clearly Sora doesn’t care about Kairi in Kingdom Hearts II at all, guys. <_<
…Tbh, this isn’t a SoKai post that I’m making here.
And it’s definitely not a “Sora cares about Kairi more, whatever that means” thing.
If anything, I think he values the both of them equally.
The only reason I made this lengthy post is because SO MANY PEOPLE WHO PLAY KHII somehow get an “LOL, do Sora and Riku even care about Kairi at all? It doesn’t feel like it to me” feeling from it.
And I, personally, will never understand that. And above is all of the reasons as to why that is.
But to each their own, I guess:)
On a side note, I rewatched ALL of these scenes just now, to make sure that I remembered them correctly and was wording the quotes right… and now I’m exhausted from it.
If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go take a nap.